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Kanye West's Nike Air Yeezy prototypes sell for record-breaking $1.8 million

Kanye West's Nike Air Yeezy prototypes sell for record-breaking $1.8 million
/ Cover Media

A pair of Kanye West's Nike Air Yeezy 1 prototype sneakers have sold for a record-breaking $1.8 million (£1.3 million).

The Gold Digger rapper first wore the shoes in 2008 when he attended the Grammy Awards, but the unique style was never mass produced and released to the general public.

The shoes were designed by Kanye and Nike's Mark Smith back in 2007, and were offered up for sale by sneaker collector Ryan Chang.

The black high-top shoes went under the hammer in a private sale at Sotheby's auction house on Monday, and rocketed past their original $1 million valuation to become the highest publicly recorded price for any pair of sneakers.

The shoes are Kanye's very own pair – a size 12 – and were bought by investing platform RARES, who allow users to buy and sell shares in limited-edition, or rare, sneakers.

RARES co-founder Gerome Sapp said that Kanye's shoes were "a piece of history".

"Our goal in purchasing such an iconic shoe is to increase accessibility and empower the communities that birthed sneaker culture with the tools to gain financial freedom through RARES," he explained.

Kanye wore the sneakers while performing his hits Hey Mama and Stronger during the 2008 Grammys, during which he scooped four awards, including Best Rap Song and Best Rap Album.

Brahm Wachter from Sotheby's said that the record-breaking sale "speaks volumes of Kanye's legacy as one of the most influential clothing and sneaker designers of our time."

The previous Sotheby's record auction price for sneakers was $560,000 (£406,000) for a pair of Nike Air Jordan 1s that went under the hammer in May last year.


Kanye West's Nike Air Yeezy 1 Prototypes (Picture: Sotheby’s / Press)

Source: Kanye West's Nike Air Yeezy 1 Prototypes (Picture: Sotheby’s / Press)

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